The Perfect Planter for Growing Tomatoes

Tomatoes growing in an EarthBox tomato planter

Ah, tomatoes. Those vibrant and tangy delights bring gardens to life and elevate any dish they grace. Growing them, however, isn’t just about popping a seed into the soil.

The magic often lies in the choice of your planter. So, if you're venturing into the world of tomato cultivation or aiming to up your game, this guide is for you.

Tomatoes Like Planting Boxes with Space

Tomatoes aren't like your hardy succulents that can weather almost any container. No. Tomatoes have a deep-reaching root system. And that means your planter must provide adequate room for that system to grow. That applies to its width and depth.

The size of the gardening container also impacts how frequently you'll need to water. The smaller the container, the more regularly you'll have to water your tomato plants.

The benchmark for the perfect tomato planter starts at 18 inches in diameter. You'll want to target 10 gallons of soil. That will easily house determinate tomato varieties.

However, it's a good idea to bump to a 24-inch diameter with indeterminate tomato varieties. You'll also want to target 20 gallons of soil.

Fill Your Tomato Planter with Quality Potting Mix

You can select the perfect size for your tomato planter. But it won't matter unless you fill it with a high-quality potting soil.

Tomatoes are like gourmet diners. They want well-draining, nutrient-rich soil. While you're investing time and money into the perfect planter, don’t skimp on the soil.

Although we suggest using quality soil, you want a soilless potting mix for tomato gardening boxes. It needs to be light for air, water, and nutrient flow. So, it must include items like perlite, vermiculite, peat moss, etc.

Ideally, sphagnum peat moss is a core ingredient. It holds water to keep your soil mixture moist throughout. That means better moisture for your plants to help them flourish. It also means less watering requirements for you.

Tomato Planter Box Options

It's tempting to grab the first planter you see, thinking it will be fine. For example, terra cotta plants look natural, fit most any decor, and are readily available at garden centers.

But they dry out quickly as air and water move through them easily. Additionally, they're prone to cracking, so you'll replace them more often.

Wooden planters have an old-school charm. There's no question their rustic appeal makes gardens feel a tad bit more connected to nature.

But you must be wary of chemicals, as many receive treatments to improve their longevity. Those chemicals can leach into the soil and defeat a quest for organic gardening.

If you aren't concerned with aesthetics, grab a five-gallon bucket. It will easily hold determinate varieties. Just punch holes in the bottom for drainage.

The Best Material for Tomato Planters

The most practical solution for growing tomatoes is good, old plastic. It's practical and inexpensive compared to other planters.

They're lightweight champions that won’t break the bank or your back when moving them around. Some plastic planters are available with a garden stand to make things even more accessible.

Plastic withstands temperature extremes. So you won't face cracking issues like terra cotta. That means fewer worries about replacing your planting boxes.

Even more importantly, plastic retains moisture, which means less watering.

One caution: it's best to avoid black plastic gardening containers. Black absorbs and retains heat from the sun. It then pushes that heat into the soil, which can damage roots.

Invest in a Self-Watering Gardening Box for Tomatoes

Another advantage of plastic planting boxes is that many have self-watering features. For example, EarthBox tomato planters include a patented sub-irrigated growing system that outperforms traditional in-ground gardening.

Sub-irrigated planters (SIPs) introduce water from the bottom of the container. The tomato plants absorb the water through capillary action. You add water to the container with a fill tube.

Self-watering garden boxes lack the drainage holes of typical planters. Instead, the planter's bottom reservoir maintains a ready water supply to help plants grow.

One of the biggest concerns of plant care is too much or too little water. SIP planters eliminate that concern. You can leave briefly and be confident that your plants will receive enough water to grow well.

The Perfect Tomato Planter Includes a Staking System

If you grow tomatoes, you'll need a trellis or staking system. Tomato plants have a lot of sprawl that needs control. Apart from controlling the plant, trellises have other benefits:

  • They allow more sunlight to reach the plant.
  • They reduce exposure to fungal diseases.
  • Plants receive better air circulation.
  • Your plants stay off the ground where they face exposure to insects and disease.
  • Trellises keep things looking neater.

If your tomato planter doesn't have one, you must buy one separately. Conversely, companies like EarthBox include a trellis with their planters for tomatoes. So you'll have what you need from the get-go.

EarthBox: The Perfect Planter for Tomatoes

To get the perfect tomato planter, know one name – EarthBox. Its container gardening system has been the top-rated and most trusted since 1994.

To make its tomato planter even more perfect, EarthBox features a tomato growing kit. It includes:

  • Tomato planter
  • Staking system
  • Casters
  • Organic potting mix
  • Fertilizer

Everything you need to grow luscious tomatoes anywhere. You’ll even get a satisfaction guarantee.